Dear Community –
We are writing to express our deep love for and solidarity with our Asian American and immigrant communities, especially during this time of increased xenophobia and want to affirm our commitment to you all always.
We are immensely concerned by the hate and targeting of our Asian American and immigrant communities in Seattle, WA, specifically, and the United States more broadly. Throughout U.S. history many have been the targets of hate, violence, and discrimination for generations. During this time of great economic and social upheaval, many are suffering.
There are those who seek to advance racist ideologies, policies and practices who are taking advantage of fear and pain during this time of crisis. There is a distressing increase of acts of hate targeting Asian American communities. Asian American elders are afraid to be out in public, and there is an increase of vandalism and break-ins of businesses in the Chinatown-International District.
As we stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter and the Defund Movements, we know that we must keep each other safe by showing up for one another with collective care and support. This means caring for and protecting our elders, developing community-based and -led public safety initiatives, being a firm and caring collective presence in neighborhoods where communities are being targeted, supporting our unhoused neighbors in accessing resources and affordable housing, and promoting services which provide mental health and addiction services.
Additionally, we need our leaders to cease the use of anti-Asian terminology as it relates to COVID-19 and speak out against anti-Asian stigma that has incited hate violence against our Asian American and immigrant communities. We must provide resources and caring support to those who are survivors of acts of hate to ensure that they have space to grieve, heal and restore their homes and/or businesses. And lastly, we need a significant increase in language supports, as many preventative and emergency response services are inaccessible to many of our Asian American elders.
In the face of hate, it is our duty to love and protect each other. In order to overcome this pandemic of hate we must come together for our collective care and liberation. And as our great elder Assata Shakur said, “It is our duty to fight for our freedom. It is our duty to win. We must love and protect each other. We have nothing to lose but our chains.”
In Love & Solidarity,
The Seattle King County NAACP